Released a mere 14 months after their spectacular third LP, Weird Waves, Nathan Lawr's Afrobeat/indie rock fusion project Minotaurs return with AUM, their most focused album to date. The fact that this modest 37-minute album seems so seamless and on-point seems shows how resourceful a musician and arranger Lawr has become, as the album's six tracks were cut together quickly in the studio from extended jams recorded by the Guelph band.
"I'll Keep Your Shit With Mine" (featuring vocals from Sarah Harmer), with its building pre-chorus, and floating polyrhythmic closer "Wildered and Witched," are cleverly structured like traditional indie rock songs, no matter how many polyrhythms, horn accents or upstrokes his band infuses into these tracks.
Despite how tight and grounded Lawr manages to get Minotaurs to sound in the studio, the octet still find ways to keep each song stimulating and raw, as "Don't Turn Away" features clashing, skronking horns and well-mannered pianos, while the off-kilter sing-along "All Hail" is completely and gratifyingly spontaneous.
With AUM, Minotaurs stop worrying about trying to recapture their enormous live sound, crafting one of the finest and purposeful studio jam sessions around. (Static Clang)